When you have been arrested for DUI, you are often confronted with many uncertainties and, for sure, you won’t know the answers to many questions.
Some Common FAQS
If a police officer asks me to undertake a blood, breath or urine test, do I have to agree?
No, you do not. But if you refuse any tests you may be penalized in some way. In Florida, the motor vehicle department will suspend your driving privileges for 12 months. Also, if you refuse to take the tests, a law enforcer may well assume that you are DUI and will use this as evidence in court. Florida views driving as a privilege and when you are issued with a license you are required to sign to say that if asked to do so you agree to taking any physical or chemical test related to your breath that will determine your BAC, and also to a urine test which will determine if you are under the influence of any drugs. Under Florida law this is named implied consent. If you refuse a blood alcohol test, then you will be charged independently of any DUI charge.
If my BAC is below the permitted legal limit, can I still be charged?
Yes. You can be charged with DUI even if your BAC result showed you were under 0.08% (or 0.02% for under 21s and 0.04% for commercial drivers). The prosecution can use the sobriety tests or your general behavior after you were stopped, even though it will make it harder to prove you were actually impaired.
To be arrested for DUI, does a police officer have to visibly see me driving?
No. He or she doesn’t have to visibly see you actually driving. You can be arrested for DUI as long as you are “in control” of the vehicle. You could be questioned even if you were just sitting in a car behind the wheel or asleep in a car. If you have parked your car and the keys are still in the ignition you could be seen as being in physical control of it and be arrested for DUI.
I have been arrested for DUI in Tampa, Florida. Will I lose my driver’s license?
Once put under arrest for DUI in Tampa, Florida, the law enforcer who arrests you will remove your driver’s license and issue you with a ticket, or a citation. This citation is simply a driver’s permit which is temporary and allows driving to continue for a ten day period from the DUI arresting date. On the tenth day at midnight after your arrest for DUI, you are not permitted to use the DUI citation any longer. Before the ten day deadline has been reached, you must ask for an administrative hearing to take place with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Failing to ask for this hearing before the ten day deadline following the DUI arrest, suspending your license will take place. However, if you do ask for the hearing, you might, but there is no guarantee that you could get your right to drive restored.
If I get my driver’s license suspended, how long will this be for?
This will all depend on the circumstances of your arrest. Your license will remain suspended for 12 months if at the time of arrest you refused to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. If you have refused such tests in the past then the suspension period may well be 18 months. If you agree to the breath, urine or blood test and your BAC is above .08, it is likely your license could be suspended from six months to up to one year if the DUI conviction is your first one.
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